Anti- fracking activists in Boulder County are being subpoenaed in a labor dispute case involving a woman who was fired from her job for a protesting against Anadarko petroleum.
Paula Oransky was a district sales manager for the multi-billion dollar corporation, Martin Marietta Materials and was fired on in October of last year after she participated in protests of new oil and gas operations near her home in east Boulder County.
On September 27, of last year, Oransky protested at a public forum held by Anadarko Petroleum at the Erie Community Center where they were discussing their future drilling plans in the area, including 36 new wells within two miles of the Oransky home and her children’s elementary school.
Oransky was on her own time when she participated in the protest at the forum and did not identify herself as an employee of Martin Marietta. The Boulder Weekly reports that the company sells certain materials like gravel to Anadarko and other oil and gas companies for use in their construction of drilling pads and roads.
After she was fired, Oransky engaged the Denver firm of Springer and Steinberg to represent her in a lawsuit against Martin Marietta, claiming that she was terminated “without due process and in retaliation for her lawful off-work exercise of her state and federal constitutional rights of free speech, assembly, and petition and in violation of state law on employee off-job activities.”
Now, attorneys for Martin Marietta have subpoenaed several other anti fracking activists including Cliff Willmeng, a Green Party candidate in the Boulder County Commissioner election.
“We’ve learned that 6 of us are being subpoenaed by Martin Marietta, two of us at this point have been served a subpoena, and the subpoena is requesting all the electronic communications between myself and Paula regarding this protest against Anadarko, all promotion of this protest, all actions or activities of the Erie protectors which is the direct action group against oil and gas out there. And so yes, it feels like a huge fishing expedition for information on community activists by a major corporate player.”
Activists in East Boulder County are gearing up for a separate battle with Martin Marietta over its proposed gravel mining operation near Hygiene.